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tv   AB Cs World News With Charles Gibson  ABC  December 9, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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welcom welcome to "world news." tonight, winter's wrath. even snowplows have been getting stuck as a pre-winter storm paralyzes the midwest. what's the deal? senate democrats say they are closer than ever to a health care reform bill without a public option. hot topic. did scientists skew their research to support this here rips about global warming? vanishing act. the painter who has turned his disappearance into an art form. and, the pr pros weigh in on what it will take, or even if it's possible, to turn tiger's troubles around. good evening. the front page of an iowa
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newspaper says it all. the weather is truly frightful. to get almost anywhere in parts of the country today required overcoming deep snow, biting temperatures, high winds, heavy rains and ice in some cases, all of the above. worst hit was the upper midwest where millions are coping with a prewinter blizzard that's many areas almost frozen in place. so, barbara pinto is in wisconsin tonight. barbara? >> reporter: good evening, charlie. the state of wisconsin, for all intents and purposes are shut down tonight. buried under a foot and a half of snow. and here in madison, like so many other places across the country, they are placing for more trouble tonight. ferocious winds and bitter cold. all day long, this powerful blast of winter rumbled across the country. winds gusting 40, 50 miles per hour, whipped up whiteouts from minnesota to iowa. >> roads have been horrible, and every time they clear it off it gets drifted over again. >> reporter: torrential rains
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drenched tennessee, and in the nation's north, now in the bullseye, more than a foot of snow and counting, snarling traffic. and causing at least a dozen deaths. but the trouble isn't over. the fierce winds snapped trees, leaving thousands without electricity, just as the temperatures began to drop. chicago is expected to plunge from 32 degrees today to just 6 tonight. temperatures that touched 50 today in pittsburgh and indianapolis are plummeting into the 20s, all in a matter of hours. >> in the short amount of time that we've been driching around, the temperature's dropped three degrees. >> reporter: in parts of wisconsin, even the plows were warned to stay off the roads. lieutenant tom mormon showed us his stretch. he's worried the road salt will freeze. >> i don't believe it's going to be effective once it drops below zero. and that's what's forecast in the next couple of days. >> reporter: skating rink?
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>> going to be a very large skating rink. >> reporter: that's why chad duvall is plowing around the clock in delafield. >> if it goes to below zero tonight, it could freeze. causing everything to have black ice or be real slippery. >> reporter: travel by air was not much better. hundreds of flights canceled in chicago, and delayed rippled to the northeast. >> i'm lefting back to los angeles, but this blizzard, it just won't stop going, and right now, the flights are canceled, and can't get home. >> reporter: now, the snow has finally stopped here but the wind gusts, 40 to 50 miles per hour expected overnight with the wind chill, it will feel like 20 below zero. charlie? >> barbara pinto, thank you. next to health care, which picked up a head of steam after a key agreement was reached by liberal and mod rat democrats in the senate. the compromise on health care reform would take a government-run public option off the table, at least for now. but it would expand the
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government's role in determining health insurance costs. so, jon karl is with us tonight from washington. jon? >> reporter: charlie, if this compromise holds, democrats believe they can pass a health care reform bill in the senate before the end of the year. today, senate democrats were sounding optimistic they've got a deal. >> we hope, and are confident, based upon the breakthrough we had last night, we're going to be able to do the bill before we leave here. >> reporter: the deal would set up a system similar to the ones offered to members of congress and other federal employees. the coverage would be provided by private insurance, but premiums would be ne gauche yamented by the office of personnel management. the idea? to introduce competition and bring down cost. americans between the ages of 55 and 64 would have another option. buying into medicare. not at the deeply discounted rate offered to seniors, but at a rate probably several hundred dollars a month that reflects the actual costs of the insurance. these options would not be
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offered to everyone, only to the self-employed, people that woman at companies with fewer than 50 employees and to nose with none at all. the expansion of medicare was applauded today by liberals who demanded the so-called public option. >> we are now on the verge of expanding medicare to people who are now 65, but 55. that expense would be an enormous victory. >> reporter: but republicans said expanding medicare is a terrible idea, because the program is already going bankrupt. >> the last thing you want to think about when the titanic is sinking is put grandma and more of your family on the boat. and this is really what this administration is trying to do. >> reporter: democratic leader harry reid says that this is a deal, but it's not a done deal. we still don't know how much any of the mess shurps will cost or if the bill will have enough votes to pass. charlie? >> jonathan karl, thank you. and our chief washington correspondent george stephanopoulos is joining us.
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george, the public option may be off the table, but this may be public-driven. i heard people say, why can't we have what congress has? and after all these months of wrangling, it seems like the senate may have come back to that. >> reporter: another big slogan, medicare for all. they're not going to get that, but a move in that direction. i talked to one member of congress who said simplicity won out. >> so, jon said at the end, even with this deal, it's questionable whether the votes are there, and if it really is a done deal. >> reporter: and that all depends on the congressional budget office, the most powerful actor in washington right now, and how they score this bill. conservatives and centrists are going to be looking at it, does the bill come in under $900 billion. does it still reduce the deficit. progressives are going to ask, does it do what we want the public option to do, create competition for the insurance companies to drive premiums down and increase coverage.
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those answers are going to determine if this has the votes. >> and are those answers definitive? i always wonder when the budget office scores something, says, this is what you might save, whatever, how accurate is that? >> reporter: that's a great question. you know what? they're the only game in town. they are the referees. >> and that's what the congress will hang its hat on. >> reporter: they will. >> all right, george stephanopoulos, thank you. overseas next. in pakistan, authorities have detained five americans. the subjects of an fbi search. the young men are all from washington, d.c. after they disappeared, the fbi discovered a threatening video that had been made by one of the men. here's pierre thomas. >> reporter: among the missing, zamzam, a dental student and his fa facebook friend, khan. >> five young sons, ages between 19 to 25, have been missing since the weekend. under mysterious circumstances. >> reporter: u.s. officials notified pakistani tonights because of concerns the young men may have been radicalized.
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one of the five men left behind a farewell video suggesting jihad and featuring images of american casualties. >> i have seen the video, and i was disturbed by the content of it. >> reporter: intelligence officials are increasingly worried that al qaeda and other terrorist organizations are trying to reabsolute americans who might draw less attention when they travel to pakistan and afghanistan for training. tonight, the u.s. muslim community is vowing to work with authorities. >> we urged the families to contact the fbi. >> reporter: and they're vowing to protect their young people from those who try to brainwash them. pierre thomas, abc news, washington. a chicago man pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism overseas. david headley is charged with helping to plan the 2008 attacks in mumbai, india. six americans were among the 170 people killed. next, to afghanistan.
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t the obama administration is urging the president to fight drug trafficing. today, the government there announced it will hold an anti-corruption conference next week. as nick schifrin reports, afghans say examples of corruption in their country are not hard to find. >> reporter: the huge homes of kabul's share poor district have the nickname. poppy palaces. it is widely believed many are founded funded by the drug trade. >> the appearance of luxury is a worrisome sign that some afghans are cheating their people while claiming to be in their service. >> reporter: according to officials, the religious affairs minister is being investigated for smuggling hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the mines minister has been ape accused of accepting $30 million in return for a $3 billion contract. both deny the charges.
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and the mayor of kabul was convicted of awarding a no-bid contract, and sentenced to four years in jail, but today he was back in his office. "i am still mayor," he says." "there is a conspiracy sense me." but corruption affects the poorest of afghanistan. a leading anti-corruption group says that each family makes on average $2 a day, but it has to give 20% of its income in bribes. we found three stories repeated by many. this man told us he had to pay cops off to deliver his shipment. he told us many of chiz lass mates have to slip teachers money to be promoted to the next grade, and this man said he lost his own house because someone what wanted it bribed the government. "nothing is done here," he says, "without paid." >> just shows that the government is not legitimate and not able to pride them the services that a normal
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government should pridooid. and who is winning because of this? taliban. >> reporter: corruption is also a matter of life and death. u.s. officials say millions of stolen dollars fund insurgents who kill u.s. soldiers. nick schifrin, abc news, kabul. and still ahead on "world news," have global warming skeptics discovered a smoking gun? the controversy over climate change will be our "closer look." a little pr advice for tiger woods. his best hope for polishing his image. and, the artist you don't have to see to believe. a painter who truly gets lost in his work. hi. number two, please. would you like that to hurt now or later? uh, what? sir, it's a simple question. do you want heartburn pain, now or later? these heartburn medicines make you choose... between hurting now or later.
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we began tonight's broadcast with the powerful blast of bitter cold and snow that's blanketing much of the country, and its powerful, to be sure. but it's affects will be short lived. in contrast, in copenhagen right now, world leaders are focused on the long-term and potentially devastating effects of climate change, global warming. and for all the scientific ammunition being presented at the u.n. conference, some stolen e maims are giving encouragement to global warming skeptics. david wright has our "closer look." >> reporter: just as the world seems finally poised to do something about global warming, an inconvenient scandal. >> let's start with the science
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that has been so settled for all these years. >> reporter: skeptics suddenly have new fodder. >> there's increasing evidence of sign tiff six fascism that's going on. >> reporter: 1,000 e maims dating back more than a dozen years stolen from a top research center in britain. >> let's look at this controversy from top to bottom. >> reporter: as the controversy heats up, the consensus about making the tough choices to curb carbon emissions threatens to crumble. >> poor al gore. global warming completely debunked. via the very internet you invented. oh! >> reporter: in the e-mails, the scientists are downright dism s dismissive of nay sayers in one message, a researcher offers to beat the crap out of a leading skeptic in another, penn statement's michael mann sugg t suggests hiding data, writing this is the sort of dirty laundry one doesn't want in the wrong hands. >> imagine someone going through all the emails you sent, looking for a single word of phrase that could be twisted.
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>> reporter: one of the most damn i damning including a strike to hide real temperatures. in another, a colleague writes, the fact is, we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it a travesty we can't. >> it shows human nature at work but i don't think it throws any aspersions on the science. >> reporter: global warming may be a scientific issue, but it's a hot button political debate. politicians are on the defensive, as well. >> there is nothing in the hacked e-mails that undermines the science. >> reporter: that may be true, but the e-mails threaten to undermine the political effort in copenhagen. >> they are going to use this and blow it up way beyond anything that the evidence supports. >> reporter: at a recent book signing in chicago, al gore was a soft target. >> research climategate. this guy is a fraud! it's a scamy. >> reporter: the protesters wasted little time posting their
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antics online. their message now has a worldwide megaphone. david wright, abc news, washington. and if you want to weigh in on this subject, you can can go to our blog, "the world newser," at and coming up hundred can tiger woods clean up his mess? can he? tiger woods clean up his mess? can he? lessons in crisis management. i mean look at him - he is really bringing it. and look at me - i'm blank. i got nothing. that's when i had it with frequent heartburn. that's when i got prevacid®24hr... and husband number two! (announcer) the #1 prescribed acid reducer brand over the last decade is now over-the-counter to treat frequent heartburn a full 24 hours. prevacid®24hr. when you've had it with heartburn. the moisturizer in other body washes sits on top of skin. only new dove has nutriummoisture... which can nourish deep down. new dove body wash with nutriummoisture.
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we have more tonight on that major security breach by the tsa. as we reported last night, a scientific operations manual for the transportation security administration ended up online. well, today, homeland security secretary janet napolitano insisted the public is not at risk. however, she has ordered a review of how the manual got online in the first place, and five tsa employees have been put on leave. general mills, the maker of some popular and sweet cereals, today announced the cereals won't be quite so sweet. the company says its reducing the amount of sugar in cereals marketed to children. brands including lucky charms and cocoa punches. tiger woods was conspicuous by his absence today, no sightings, no statements, and all the tvd ads featuring tiger are still off the air. at least for now.
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it is the height of understatement to say he has a public relations problem. and people keep wondering, what should he do? what can he do? will anything he does restore his reputation? so, john berman asked the experts. >> reporter: tiger woods suffered a cut lip in his run-in with the neighborhood tree. but it's nothing compared to the bruises on his once pristine image. >> feature tighter will have a warning label. but will that be for mature audiences only, but proceed with caution, flammable? >> reporter: and what can tiger do? in one of his webstatements, woods said personal sins should not require press releases and public confessions. public confessions. we've seen them before. >> i apologize. >> i'm sorry. >> reporter: some suggest woods do an interview with the likes of oprah winfrey. he could say -- >> this is a time of great
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suffering. he's learned a lot from it, and he's doing his best to move on. >> reporter: but there is a risk with telling his side of the story. >> that assumes he has a side of the story. what if his side of the story is absolutely awful? >> reporter: another strategy? >> nothing melts tension like humor, so, that's part of the process. >> reporter: remember hugh grant on "the tonight show?" >> what the hell were you thinking? >> what's a good thing and what's a bad thing, and i did a bad thing. >> reporter: the most potent weapon in his arsenal might be golf. he's really, really good at golf. >> the guy's the most competitive guy i've ever met, so this will be a challenge for him. people who think stupidly that he's not going to play good golf after this? he will play killer golf. >> reporter: that might be enough for sponsors, and some day, enough for fans. but for tiger woods and his family, there may be problems
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that no putt, no tee shot, can easily solve. john berman, abc news, florida. and up next, the disappe disappearing artist who has and up next, the disappe disappearing artist who has everyone doing double takes.tack used by a completelyked ar, another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. plavix, taken with other heart medicines goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots. ask your doctor about plavix, protection that helps save lives. (female announcer) if you have stomach ulcer or other condition that causes bleeding, you should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines including aspirin, tell your doctor before planning surgery or taking aspirin or other medicines with plavix, especially if you've had a stroke. some medicines that are used to treat heartburn may affect how plavix works, so tell your doctor if you are taking other medicines.
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finally finally tonight, the story of an artist who goes to extremes not to be noticed. it's not that this painter doesn't want you to know about for his work holds a powerful message. but look very carefully, and you'll see these amazing pieces of art hold something else. clarissa ward has the story from beiji beijing. >> reporter: liu bolin is an artist who loses himself in his work. literally. and he's so good at it, at times he can be tough to spot. here's a clu. look at the tractor's front tire. using himself as a blank canvas, he's made an art form out of disappearing into the background. the process to create each photograph is long and arduous. "usually it takes all day," he says. "sometimes it gets really cold, but i don't feel it." every detail has to be perfect there's no air brushing these
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photos. liu's works are not just about the optical illusion. they're intended as a political statement about the environment around them. on this day, liu has chosen a demolition site on what used to be a village, now raised to the ground to make way for bigger buildings. liu began his series when an artist commune where he was working was bulldozed to spruce up the city. "i think development is the very important," liu says, "but there are issues, and my work is a reflection of the social problems caused." not everyone understands liu's art, but it never fails to amuse and intrigue. "it's very good. very interesting," this man says. one more fan from china's invisible man. clarissa ward, abc news, beijing.
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>> and as often as i've seen that report, i still can't find him in that front tire. that's "world news" for this wednesday. i'm charlie gibson, and i hope you had a good day. for all of us at abc news, have a good night. build your subway famous $5 footlong! like a mighty meatball marinara or... succulent black forest ham & cheese.
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